The Penable Award 2020

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I’ve been nominated for The Penable Award 2020! I feel honored to be nominated for this award. Thank you so much Nita of aspooniesmakeupbag  for nominating me!

RULES:

1. Tag your post with the #penableaward

2. Display the Penable award logo (above) on your post and follow Penable if you haven’t already

3. Thank the person that nominated you

4. Tell us what your writing talent is

5. Answer three questions that you have been asked

6. Nominate three inspiring people for this award

7. Let them know of their nomination

8. Give them three new questions to answer!

My nominator is Nita of aspooniesmakeupbag  She has a great blog that I love to visit. She does makeup tutorials and share insights on coping with different challenges, she is strong and inspiring!

My Writing Talent: I believe my writing talent is being able to pull from past experiences, and share life lessons from them. It makes me feel like I did not go through anything in vain.

Questions from the person that Nominated me:

1. How long does it take you to write a blog post? It can take me up to 7 hours if I am adding images and proofreading, but on a shorter blog, maybe an hour.
2. Have you ever gotten writer’s block and if so, what do you do to break the block? Yes I have! When that happens I take a step away and try to reflect on what I have been going through or have gone through, to find inspiration.
3. What do you draw inspiration from for your blog posts? It varies! I draw from my faith in God, experiences working in Education and my encounters with different people.

My Nominees:

Caralyn of BeautyBeyondBones Caralyn has shared some wonderful recipes, laughs and serious content all wrapped up in a pretty bow! I enjoy reading her post, and appreciate her sharing her testimony.

Rachana Dhaka of Rachana Dhaka Rachana’s blog has been a fun and educational read for me! I have enjoyed all of the vibrant photos, poems and news clippings she has shared. I have also been able to gain a glimpse of events and notable people I had not heard about.

Wintery Knight of WinteryKnight  has written some really thought-provoking material that ranges from Personal Finance and Christianity, to Marriage and Politics. Some of the post has allowed me to look at things through another lens.

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
  1. What is something that makes you feel extremely happy?
  1. What is your favorite time of year and why?

I would like to once again thank Nita for this nomination, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day or night be safe!

XOX, Kamina

 

Prominent Never-Trumper explains why he is voting for Trump/Pence in November

Around this time, the media loves to trumpet stories about prominent “Republicans” who have become disenchanted with the Republican nominee for …

Prominent Never-Trumper explains why he is voting for Trump/Pence in November

The Informational Web of He Says, She Says

The school bell has rung, class is now in session!

I find this saying a bit humorous but can remember the time when I first experienced the he says she says monster myself; it was in the 1st grade.

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It all began when I changed schools and started my new 1st grade class. I have always enjoyed school, but my joy decreased when I encountered two boys and a girl whose main objective was to pick on me each day. I will call them the bully gang. Our classroom behavior data was tracked by the color of the sticker we received at the end of each day. A green sticker was good, yellow was ok, and red was bad.

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One day I saw the bully gang over by the behavior charts messing around with a sticker. A few minutes later, they ran to the teacher, and told her I had moved someone’s sticker. I could not believe my ears; this was my first experience with a blatant lie! I truly wished at that time my teacher had a lie detector test.

The teacher came to me, and asked why I had touched the stickers? I noted she did not ask me if I did it, but why had I done it? This bothered me, but I told her that I had not touched the stickers. She went on with her accusations saying that three students had seen me, and because of that, I had a choice between a paddling or moving my own sticker to yellow. I knew that if I chose to move my sticker to yellow, I would not be able to get a special prize on Friday out of the treasurer box. Instead, like a martyr, I chose the paddle.

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While receiving a paddle in the hallway, my neighbor’s class was walking by. My neighbor and friend, Louie, saw me about to get a paddle. I knew that was not good, but just wanted it to be over with. Later that evening, Louie told my parents that he saw me about to receive the paddle in the hallway. I wanted to disappear!

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My parents ended up having a conference with the teacher. I thought they would give her a piece of their minds, but I was wrong. They simply let her know that in the future, she needed to call them before paddling me. Afterwards I was punished for receiving the paddle.

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Finally, my day of redemption came. The bully gang was about to move a sticker again, and blame me for it, but the teacher was watching them. In case you did not know, teachers really have eyes in the back of their heads.

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The bully gang moved a sticker and ran to the teacher to tell that I had moved it, but she stopped them in their tracks. She told them she had seen them and did not appreciate what they had done. I felt good because she had finally caught them red-handed!

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After that experience, I experienced more he says she says (and even some she says she says) situations throughout my life, but I would like to share four reminders that help me cope when tangled in the information web.

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  1. Ask the tale bearer, “what were they saying at the time?”  – If someone approaches you with information that another person has said about you, do not let your immediate reaction be anger. Evaluate what was said and ask the person who shared the negativity, what were they saying when the conversation took place? You should inquire about this, because the person telling you the information, was [probably/most likely] talking about you as well.
  2. Find out the information from the source – When you hear something about yourself or someone else, do not take it at face value, go to the source! I have cleared up so many petty situations that could have ended terribly, by choosing to go straight to the person in question. When I took the time to do this, I would always find out that the story was embellished or misconstrued. If you say nothing at all and just believe what you have heard; you could end up losing a good friend/co-worker/relationship. So, it is beneficial to go to the source. The only time you do not need to do this, is if you choose to not believe or react to the information in question.
  3. Do not continue to pass the information to others – He says she says situations usually end up being blown out of proportion because instead of going to the source, the person continues to share the story. Do not do this, you may or may not be passing along untruths that could create irrefutable damage to a professional or personal reputation.
  4. You were not there – Remind yourself, when hearing a tale about someone, or something they have said, you-were-not-there. Meaning, you did not witness it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears. You honestly only know what you were being told. Evaluate the why behind the talebearer, they may be trying to make that person look bad in your eyes. Ask yourself could they be jealous, upset or just not like the other person? What is their motive in sharing the negativity with you about that person? Once you gather the answer to these questions, you will have your reason behind this mode of gossip.

When it comes to, he says she says, I would like to leave you with these last three lines:

  1. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. ~Matthew 7:12
  2. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~Galatians 6:7
  3. ToForgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes

 

Wellness Tip: Turn off devices before heading to bed. Leaving it on has been linked to trouble falling asleep.

“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at ties they accomplish this impossible task.” ~Haim Ginott

The school bell has rung, class dismissed! 

Rejection = Redirection

The school bell has rung and class is now in session

“As I look back over my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually re-directed to something better.” ~Steve Maraboli

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So many times, we reflect on our lives and feel a deep sense of regret.

  • Regret of poor choices that were made
  • Regret of choosing not to do something
  • Regret of not standing up for something
  • Regret of trying to be a people pleaser
  • Regret of taking life too seriously and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses
  • Regret of not preparing children for life
  • Regret of getting involved with the wrong people
  • Regret of choosing the practical job over the one you really wanted
  • Regret of not getting up and speaking at an event
  • Regret of being rejected from something you really wanted to do

This last regret is what I really wanted to touch on. Do not feel so bad about being rejected from a person, job position, club, or organization; because the rejection is simply re-directing you to the area you are supposed to be.

Continue to stay encouraged

*I would like to recommend a video of a comic book that share the origins of negative thoughts and how to take control of them. I was happy to see this video because I still have my copy of this comic book from when I was younger*

 

Wellness Tip: Continuously challenge your mind and body.
“It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts. It is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always to think for themselves.” ~Robert Hutchin

 

The school bell has rung, class dismissed! 

Energy Level Check: Is There an Emotional Vampire in Your Life?

The school bell has rung and class is now in session,

When you hear the word “vampire” the images that may come to mind is Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows” or

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Edward Cullen from “Twilight”

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I have come to inform you that vampires are quite real, maybe not in the sense of these characters, but when it comes to certain individuals we have in our lives, they could very well be Emotional Vampires and if they are, you need to run the other way, fast!

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Now in order to run from the Emotional Vampires, you will need to be able to recognize them. So, I will list six ways to identify these horrible creatures.

1. Emotionally Draining – The first thing you will noticed about this type of individual is
how emotionally and physically drained you feel after being in their company. I am not talking about the occasional time when a particular family member or friend share their issues with you, and you feel slightly tired after listening to them. I am talking about the individual who does it the emotional vampire way. Instead of sharing a small problem, they constantly bombard you with a plethora of them, while sucking you dry of advice and emotional responses ALL-THE-TIME.

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You may ask, “What is wrong with doing this? Plenty of people do this, even I do this!” That is not what I am referring to. I am talking about feeling like your head is literally spinning after you have finished a conversation with them. #abnormalfeeling

  1. Negativity Overload – After the conversation is long over with the emotional vampire in your life, you still experience this nagging negativity hangover. It is like taking a Benadryl too late before bed and waking up feeling a groggy brain-fog, after-affect. You probably did not realize until now, but that cloud of negativity was not coming from you; it was actually coming from the words of that emotional vampire you have been surrounding yourself with.
  2. You feel much better when they are not around – Picture yourself listening to the individual, while listening to them you feel bad, after listening to them you still feel gloomy. It isn’t until you have gone a few days, weeks or months, without talking/listening to this individual that you start to feel somewhat normal again. This is because while conversing with them, they not only unload a lot of negativity on you; they also tend to not actively listen to anything you have to say. So, going on a detox from this individual may show you just how good life could be without them. Go ahead and press the “Reset” button, for lighter and happier times ahead. #letitgo #frozenstyle
  3. Simplicity goes out the Window – Another sign of an emotional vampire is when having, what you believe to be, a simple conversation with them, ends up leaving you in a ball of confusion.                                                                                                8EB71179-F9AB-4CDB-AD8C-05A6757D8F51_4_5005_cWhat starts out as a simple statement, ends with the emotional vampire taking things completely out of context; leaving you disoriented and wondering what in the Sam Hill went wrong. Communication gaps happen, yes, but in the case of the emotional vampire, they are inevitable because the vampire is usually busy being negative, playing mind games, refusing to give straight answers or being overly defensive of their “uncalled for” behavior. This is definitely a trait that you should be on the lookout for because simplicity is certainly a thing of the past with them. #byebyesimplicity
  1. They make you feel deflated – These emotional vampires tend to deflate everyone around them. They cannot stand to see anyone thriving in anything because they are debbie-downers and want to make others feel that way too. A true friend would like for you to be happy and celebrate with you when things are good, and comfort you when things are bad. An emotional vampire does the complete opposite, covertly; they do not bring comfort; nor do they celebrate you. They only do it if it serves themselves in some form or fashion. Most of the time they appear to only “tolerate” you being in their lives. They are really not into you or what you have going on but keep you around for their own purposes. So, ask yourself again, why do you entertain such a person? Inquiring minds would like to know.
  2. You have a sneaky suspicion the friendship isn’t quite real – With emotional vampires, they only put up with you because a) they need a sounding-board b) they need someone to put down so that they can feel better about themselves c) they need emotional responses to what they are saying [in these cases they will have multiple people they run to for this because your response alone will not be enough] d) they need your energy to empower themselves. Notice how all of these reasons are about them and not the friendship? This is normally the case with these creatures, I mean, emotional vampires. Once they get the energy and attention they crave, you will be out of sight and out of their narrow minds, until they need another energy fix again.

What to do if you have been bitten by an emotional vampire:

1. Establish the no contact rule, this is important because they are sly creatures and can usually lure you back into the friendship before you have time to think about it. Cutting ties will allow you to get back to emotional freedom sooner than later.

2. Do not try to reason with emotional vampires, it will not work. You will just become tangled up again in their web of deceit.

3. If you work with the person in a common organization, separate yourself and only deal with them professionally. Do not meet up for dinner or talk on the phone. Keep everything strictly work related, and at work only.

4. Develop a support system of people who care about you, and who are willing to talk and actively listen. This marks a healthy relationship. Now go forth and be a Vampire Slayer!

 

Wellness Tip: Clear conscious. Do not be afraid to say you are sorry and to forgive.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William A. Ward

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Listening to the Wrong Voices – The Error of King Ahab

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I would like to revisit a story in history. (9th century B.C.) This story offers principles that could be life changing. This story headlines a prophet by the name is Macaiah.

Micaiah (Hebrew: מיכיהו Mikay’hu “Who is like Yah?”), son of Imlah, is a prophet in the Hebrew Bible. He is one of the four disciples of Elijah and not to be confused with Micah, prophet of the Book of Micah. (P. J. Leithart. 2006. 1 & 2 Kings – Page 161)

If you are interested in hearing about the events leading up to the appearance of the prophet Micaiah, continue reading!

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There were two kings. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah who reigned c. 870 – 849 BC and Ahab, the king of Israel who reigned c. 871 – c. 852 BC.

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During King Jehoshaphat’s visit with King Ahab, King Ahab asked him if he would go with him to take over Ramoth-gilead, which was under the rule of King Aram. King Ahab went on to explain that the city of Ramothgilead was rightfully theirs, so they should take it away from the king of Syria.

*nugget alert* Be careful not to allow someone to blindly influence your actions, they could have underlying motivations that are meant to promote themselves. This is relevant even if what they are saying is true. Check out King Jehoshaphat’s response.

King Jehoshaphat replied, “Hmmm, let us inquire of the Lord.”

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King Ahab gathered his prophets, about four hundred men, and asked them, “Shall I go against Ramothgilead, or not?” The prophets all responded, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver them into the hands of the king.”

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*nugget alert* Experiencing or hearing something Good, does not mean it came from God. Pray for Discernment. It is necessary because it allows you to look beyond the smiles on a face, and into the frowns on the heart.

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After hearing these prophets, King Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord besides these men, that we might enquire of him?”

*nugget alert* It is interesting how both kings heard four hundred prophets tell them to go and war against the king of Syria because they will win, yet after hearing; one of the kings asked if there were another prophet of the Lord besides these men. The nugget here is to be leery when you have a “crowd” agreeing with you. Be aware when you have a lot of people telling you what you want to hear. Get a second opinion. God is not always in the center of “the majority.”

King Ahab answered King Jehoshaphat saying, “There is one man named Micaiah, son of Imlah, that we may enquire of but I hate him; for he does not ever prophesy good things concerning me, only evil things.” King Jehoshaphat replied, “Don’t say that.” So King Ahab relented, and had an officer go and get Micaiah. Once the messenger reached Micaiah, he told him that the King of Israel needed him to prophecy and to make sure what he says is favorable like the other prophets.

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*nugget alert* In reference to the king of Israel, it was interesting how he decided that he hated the man who told him truth because it was unpleasant. How often do we start disliking or mistreating someone, just because we do not want to hear the truth they are speaking? How many times have we ostracized someone because their life style made us feel convicted? Be careful gathering to yourselves, people who tickle your ears but care nothing for your soul. These types of people will lead you into destruction. The other thing that stood out about the previous passage was how the messenger tried to “coach” Micaiah on what he needed to say. For those who are not familiar with a true prophet of God, they only speak what the Lord tells them to speak.

While Micaiah and the messenger were on their way back, the two kings were seated on their thrones, and the prophets took turns prophesying to them about whether or not they should go to Ramothgilead. Each prophet’s speech were more elaborate than the last. They were feeling really important sharing their pleasant prophecies with the kings. To read more about what some of them said go to this link https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+22&version=HCSB

In a nutshell, all of the prophets were in agreement. The messenger and Micaiah arrived and the messenger reminded him to say good things like the other prophets had done. Micaiah told him that he would comply. King Ahab then asked Micaiah if they should go to Ramothgilead, and Micaiah immediately replied in a mocking manner, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver them in your hands.”

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King Ahab knew something was amiss, it was not like Micaiah to agree like that, so he told Micaiah to please speak the truth in the name of the Lord. Micaiah then replied, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.” 

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*nugget alert* A couple of things are worth mentioning from the previous passage. Micaiah tried to parrot what the other prophets were saying, but King Ahab already knew it was not true. So he pushed Micaiah to speak the truth because he wanted to know. Let this be a lesson to always pursue the truth, instead of the deception. No matter how you “feel” about it.

The second nugget that stood out was the prophecy itself. King Ahab was the king of Israel, and in the prophecy it said that Micaiah saw Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep without a shepherd. Micaiah went on to say that the Lord said they did not have a master, and that every man should return home in peace. This is basically saying they did not have the leadership or blessing to go forward to war against the king of Syria and that if they wanted to remain in peace; they needed to go home. Do you all see how important it is to know whose voice you are listening too? All of these prophets claimed to be from the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the bible; yet out of 401 men/prophets, only 1 spoke from the Lord. Ponder that for a moment.

King Ahab looked over to King Jehoshaphat and said, “See, I told you he never says anything good about me.”

Micaiah went on to say, “Here what the word of the Lord says, I saw the Lord sitting on his throne and all of the host of heaven standing on his right and left. and the Lord asked, who shall persuade Ahab that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this matter and another said on that matter. There came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord asked him wherewith? The spirit said, I will go forth and i will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets. The Lord replied, you shall persuade him and prevail, go forth and do so.” Then Micaiah finished by saying, “Behold the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets and the Lord has spoken evil concerning you.”

*nugget alert* It is amazing how the end of the prophecy went on to explain why all of these men only had good things to say instead of the truth. They have been affected by a lying spirit. How sad that Ahab had moved so far away from God and his word, that he no longer could discern the difference between the truth of God and the lies of the devil. Be leery not to fall into that same position because even though this happened a long time ago, it is still happening today.

There are many voices speaking to us even more so today through Twitter, FB, Instagram, Blogs, YouTube, News, Media, etc… Many voices, but most are not aligned with what the Lord is saying. Think of these prophets, how far they had gone away from the Lord. So far that they thought they were speaking on his behalf, and did not realize they were being used by an evil spirit. This is truly a terrifying state to be in.

After Micaiah gave this prophecy, Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah and leader of the prophets went near and slapped Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak to you?” He was being sarcastic because he believed he was a true oracle of the lord.

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Micaiah answered him saying, “You will see in that day, when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” King Ahab commanded Micaiah be incarcerated until they all return from Ramothgilead. Micaiah responded, “If you return in peace, then the Lord has not spoken through me. Hearken O people, everyone of you.” Then he was taken away to jail.

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*nugget alert* The marks of a true prophet of the Lord, their words always came true, 100 percent of the time, and they never contradicted the word of God (bible).

So both kings headed into battle against the king of Syria and Ahab had the bright idea to borrow some of Jehoshaphat’s robes. This was to disguise himself in the battle. On one end of the battlefield, some of the soldiers from Syria saw King Jehoshaphat and was about attack him, but he cried out to the Lord. Once they got closer and saw it was not the king of Israel, Ahab, they retreated and left him alone.

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On the other end of the battlefield, a Syrian soldier drew his bow at a venture and it ended up striking King Ahab between the joints of his harness.

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He told his soldiers he was wounded and they carried him out of the host and laid him in the chariot. By the evening he died and bled out in his chariot, the proclamation of his death went out, and everyone returned to their own city and country.

*nugget alert* It was interesting that King Ahab wore King Jehoshaphat’s robes, and yet when the Syrian soldiers were right in front of King Jehoshaphat they decided not to harm him. On the other end of the spectrum, a random Syrian soldier decided to draw his bow at a person far away, and end up striking King Ahab.

This goes to show how accurate God’s word is. It did not matter that Ahab had disguised himself or that he was far away, God’s word still prevailed and the false prophets word did not. This is an important lesson overall because each of us have the choice to align ourselves with truth today by deciding to accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior and confess that we are a sinner. If we pray this we will be given his Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth to guide us. John 16:12 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

We are living in a world full of voices, but there are only two sources, the Spirit of Truth or the Spirit of Error. Make sure you are on the right side, do not make the error of King Ahab. For any questions about this story, I can be reached through my contact page.

Be blessed

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

Surrounded by an Invisible Army: Open Your Eyes

The school bell has rung, class is not in session

Have you ever felt like your back was against the wall or that you have reached a point where you could not fight or run? I was reminded of story I read in the Book of Second Kings Chapter 6, when Elisa said,

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Let me tell you a little background of the story of a man who woke up one morning and was literally surrounded by his enemies. God’s prophet, Elisha had a great enemy in the King of Syria. The prophet Elisha had warned the King of Israel of his impending danger of attack by the King of Syria, and of continuing to sin against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So in the past, the King of Israel had avoided a lot of pitfalls by listening to the Prophet Elisha. One thing that was noted in Matthew Henry’s Commentary is that the King of Israel listened when it came to protecting himself from dying at the hands of the King of Syria, but did not listen to repenting of his sins against God. (Ironic right?)

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Either way, the Prophet Elisha found himself in quite a situation after giving valuable advice to Israel’s army yet again because the King of Syria decided he wanted to take him as a prisoner and told his army to collect him dead or alive.

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They were tired of Elisha listening to God and providing the King of Israel information on how to overcome their enemies. This information proved to help them win again and again, as long as they were in obedience with God’s Word. So they knew their only solution in defeated the Israelites were to rid them of their Prophet from God.

One question pondered in the commentary was, “Why did the King of Syria decide to send an entire army after one man? A man who was not hidden behind a fortress like royalty or guarded by men?” To send an entire army after a one man proves how much of a threat he was to them. So under the cloak of darkness, the Syrian army began to surround the city and wait. As the morning’s sun began to rise, so did the voice of Elisha’s servant. He exclaimed in panic and I am paraphrasing, “Master what shall we do? We cannot fight or run, we may as well just give up!”  The servant saw their enemies surrounding them with swords and spears.

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Elisha responded calmly, “Do not fear! For there are more on our side than theirs.” The servant was confused because he only saw that they were about to be destroyed by what was in front of them. Then Elisha said a quick prayer to the Lord, asking Him to open the eyes of his servant, so he could see. Suddenly the servant could see with the same enlightened eyes as Elisha and he saw that the hills surrounding the Syrian Army were not empty, but were full of horses and chariots of fire.

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As the horses and chariots of fire descended, Elisha prayed that the Syrian Army be smote with blindness and they were. He led them to a city called Samaria. Once they arrived, Elisha prayed that the Lord would allow the men to see. Once their eyes were able to see, the King of Israel asked Elisha could they kill them? Elisha said no, feed them and let them go back to their king. Once they returned to the King of Syria, they no longer bothered the Land of Israel. Elisha’s simple faith in God, reduced an unstoppable enemy to nothing.

This should be an encouragement to believers today because scripture says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrew 13:8) We do not have to feel like we are alone, or that we have to rely on our own strengths. We also do not need to only trust in what we see with our own eyes because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesian 6:12)

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Reflecting questions: Where do we put our faith? When we encounter an enemy during our daily situations, do we react like Elisha, or do we react like his servant?

The school bell has rung, class dismissed! 

Two Sets of Joneses

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I was in college on my way back with friends from performing. We were in the “singing assemble group” for our college that consisted of 6 girls and 12 guys. We went around singing to churches and organizations that donated money to our university. I was in the car and this music group came on the radio. I was immediately transported back in time to the1960s, as the sound of a guitar blared and the lead singer’s voice droned on, it actually made me feel like I was at Wood Stock. *chuckle*

Jimi Hendrix and a crowd at Woodstock standing in the rain

Well, minus the “not so good” parts of Wood Stock. Sorry, I digressed from the main point. As I listened to the words of the song, it really had a deep impact on me. After the song ended, I asked my friends the title of the song. They replied, “Two Sets of Joneses.” So I decided to share the story with you all but if you choose to skip reading post, I have attached the video below for your viewing pleasure. The story begins with the two couples named, Rothchild and Evelyn Jones, and Reuben and Sue Jones.

Side note: Sorry, this was the best generalized image I could find of two couples, just use your imagination!

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Now, back to the story – Evelyn had a lot of money and Rothchild Jones was so excited because after he married her, she bought them a house on the beach. Reuben and Sue
Jones did not have earthly wealth, but they were followers of Jesus and felt that having Him was plenty because they trusted in Him to provide for them. The hook of the song described “hard times” as rain coming down and blowing the four walls down, and when the clouds rolled away; only one set of Joneses would be standing that day. So, essentially whenever hard times came, only one couple would be able to handle it. As time passed, eventually Evelyn Jones and Sue Jones were pregnant.

 

In Evelyn’s case, Rothchild worked late hours so that he could remain on top of the business, and her father was very proud and happy to have such a son-in-law. Rothchild worked so hard, that while Evelyn was having their first child, he was on an airplane flying to Dallas on business.
In Sue’s case, when she was having their first child, the entire hospital heard Reuben exclaim, “It’s a boy!” He was right by her side and even stayed home with Sue to help her take care of the baby for a few days. While he was out of work, some of his co-workers took up a collection for Reuben and it ended up being enough for the bills that month. Needless to say, Evelyn Jones ended up leaving Rothchild and sued him for everything he had.

The essential question of the story: Is your life built on the Rock of Christ Jesus or Sandy foundations that YOU have managed to lay?

Why is this important? Because when the rain comes down, and blows the four walls down, when the clouds roll away; will you be still standing or blown away? Just a thought. The video is below, enjoy 🙂

Wellness Tip: Eat more dark green vegetables. An excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. These vegetables also contain vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium. In addition, dark green leafy vegetables act as antioxidants in the body.

“Every parent or guardian is homeschooling their children whether they realize it as not because their actions and words are always on display. ~Dr. Menzise

 

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

Building Trust as a Leader – There are Two Sides to Every Story

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

Remember the old adage, “There are two sides to every story?” This is a simple truth that could benefit everyone who takes the time reflect on it, especially when your own ears are being filled with a “story.”

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When I was a beginning teacher, an occurrence took place that taught me a valuable lesson. I had a principal who demanded excellence from faculty, staff and students alike. Whether the principal had known you for a long time, or if you were a new employee; the expectations were the same for every person across the board. Because of this consistent treatment to everyone, the principal gained a reputation for treating people fairly, which in return, built a foundation of trust.

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Side note – As we go through life, we will have good and bad situations to happen, and if we choose to learn, the lessons will not be in vain.

Let us return to the story. There was a veteran teacher that had been communicating behind the scenes with some of my cheerleaders about a potential way to raise money for themselves. When I became aware of what some of them were doing, I reminded the team that fundraising activities had to go through a particular process, resulting with approval from the principal before any monies could be collected. The veteran teacher, being a former coach, continued to encourage some of the girls to continue raising money for themselves. I was frustrated, so I used my first line of defense, prayer. I always pray when I feel that things are getting out of control.

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I knew if this situation continued, I would eventually have to speak to the veteran teacher one-on-one, and before doing so, wanted to make sure my heart and mind was right before God. What happened a week after the incident came as quite a shock to me. The principal ended up summoning the veteran teacher and I, to the office.

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We sat next to each other, while the principal proceeded to walk out of the room. The veteran teacher asked me if I knew what the principal could possibly want with us, and I told her no. I had only been working there three weeks and barely spoke to the principal. When the principal returned, the veteran teacher and I, were asked if we knew why we were called into the office? We both stated that we did not know the reason. The principal went on to explain that we were called in because one of my cheerleaders had been asking for money randomly, and when it was discovered that it was not a sanctioned fundraiser, the cheerleaders were brought into the office and questioned. They were also reminded of the process they had to go through in order to have a fundraiser established. I will be honest, at this point I was seething because I thought the conversation would end with me getting in trouble for putting together a fundraiser, I had nothing to do with, but I remained silent.

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Surprisingly, the principal addressed the veteran teacher, and explained to no longer advise the cheerleaders in that measure because it undermined me as the new coach. The principal went on to say that in the future when it came to fundraising ideas, to let me know because ultimately, I would be responsible the outcome.

Let me digress, we both were a little floored at this conversation, but for different reasons.

Me: I did not know the principal was aware of what had been going on and could not believe how professionally it was handle. It was not spread around the front office, or among teachers in the school. The issue was only addressed to the parties involved, and in our faces, instead of behind our backs. #Wow

Veteran Teacher: Surprised the principal knew what was going on and actually called the situation out.

Ok, let us return to the story. The veteran teacher ended up apologizing for overstepping boundaries, and I gratefully accepted because I like peace. Next, we were told that if there was not anything left to discuss, we could leave. The veteran teacher and I were a little surprised about the encounter, but left the meeting feeling good and as though we had been through something together.

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I gained more respect for the principal as a leader because that situation could have gone in another direction. If it was assumed that I was to blame for the fundraiser complaints just because I was the coach, my professional image would have been smeared in the eyes of the principal because I should have known better. I truly respect that the principal took the time to investigate and dig a little deeper to learn that I had not orchestrated the illegal fundraiser activities.

In regard to your own personal experiences, whether it is at church, work, organizations, among friends or associates; how often do you hear one side of a story, and formulate opinions based on that particular side? Why not try listening first, then consider the possible “other side” of the story before reacting? Many people form opinions about others before interacting with them, and this is a constant misfortune, because a potential benefit to you and/or your organization could be missed.

Reflection Time

  1. The next time someone tells you a story about someone or something, please take the time to remember that you are only hearing half of the story. For example – If someone only tells you about half of the movie; you will need to learn the other half of the storyline in order to formulate a true opinion of the movie.
  2. Think of the peopleyou have encountered over time, and the opinions you have formed about them. Is your opinion of them based on what others have said, or is it based on your personal experiences with them? If you have personally experienced a person, and realized they were not a positive person, then it is ok to have that opinion about them, but if the opposite is true then that could be an issue. This is an important reflection because I have seen people who were good friends, end up falling out of friendship because of half-truths spoken about the other person. For example – The friend would begin listening to others speak negatively about their good friend, and instead defending them based on their personal experience with them, they instead would begin to believe the opinions of others. This demonstrates the power of negative words once they are allowed to take root in the mind.
  3. Make the change today and remember that facts will always outweigh half-truths.

 

            Wellness Tip: Replace Junk Food. Take out all of the junk food in your cupboards at home and replace them with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” ~John 8:32

The school bell has rung, class dismissed